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2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Prog 227


After fifty weeks, Meltdown Man comes to a conclusion and, like the previous Alan Hebden saga I blogged about before, Psi Wars, it seems to wrap itself up nicely. Nick Stone and Leesher are caught in the blast of a nuclear bomb and, this time, get thrown back to the present. On arrival, Leesher fades away and Stone reasons that this must be because he goes on to prevent the future from happening. This also means that all the walking, talking animals that we’ve come to know will cease to exist as well but I think it’s inferred that this is a small price to pay.

Meltdown Man’s biggest achievement is that all fifty episodes are drawn by Messimo Bellardinelli. As far as I am aware, this is the longest consecutive run of weekly episodes drawn by a single artist for 2000 AD. Well done, Messimo. Amazingly, Tharg is already talking about ACE Trucking Co, his next strip, starting soon. Give the art robot a break, will ya!

I think that I have discovered a pattern to this thrill. Often, an episode, which is usually four pages long, features a single page with the least amount of panels on so that Bellardinelli can over size one and let rip. This page is usually followed by one filled to bursting point with panels pushing the story along. On occasions that I’ve looked up information on the internet about Meltdown Man, I have been advised that the strip is underrated and to give it another go. As this is the first time that I have read Meltdown Man, and the pattern in panel layout is just as interesting to me as what happens in the strip itself, maybe I do need to revisit it one day, but just not yet, eh.

EXTRA: Currently, Judges Dredd and Anderson are trying to get through the force field that The Dark Judges have put up around Billy Carter Block so that they are not interrupted during their killing spree. Anderson huddles up close to an uncomfortable Dredd as she creates a narrow, temporary gap in the shield for them to wriggle through.

This is a definitive Judge Dredd tale which I know so well from reprints. However, I am reminded that this is the first time that I’ve read the original because, as they squeeze through the hole in the shield, Dredd doesn’t ask, “is this absolutely necessary, Anderson?” I am interested to know how one of my favourite Dredd one liners came to be absent first time around and added later to reprint versions.

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